We (the family and I) were the last to arrive at the Rieter staging area Saturday morning. Some mornings you just can’t seem to drag your self out of bed fast enough. In any event we got there to find the following people waiting for us;
- Ed and Erick
- Lane and Logan
- Tim, Shannon, and son
- Larry and Rick
- Kyle and Isacc
- Russ, Kelsey, and Alex
- and us, Rudi, Melissa, Alex, and Cassidy
Russ and I ended up being the trail leaders and started everyone off on Treeline trail out of the staging area. When we got out to the power lines Russ decided that he wanted to show every one how to get stuck in a mud hole and proceeded to bury his truck in the mud. We winched him out of the hole but not until after we all had a chance to rib him a little. Right after Russ was out another Jeep that was not with our group tried the hole and ended up getting stuck. We were nice and hooked a strap up so that Larry could pull him out.
We then headed back through the trees and out towards the Rieter Road where we crossed over to the mud holes down there. Russ who had already learned once before that water and engines do not mix stayed to the side of the hole and skirted the deep stuff. There were a few people that were a little braver and went through the deeper parts of the hole but everyone made it without issue. Once through all of us went along up the power lines heading towards the entrance of Sac Up. Everyone did fine on Sac Up and the only real show there was when I tried to get through the goal posts, got turned sideways, and had to be winched back straight so that I could get out of the predicament. After I was out a buggy on 40’s came past and walked right through without a problem. Guess I need 40’s to make it happen now.
Once everyone made it out of Sac Up we headed down the road towards the power lines again. As we passed the steep rock face where people test there skills we saw a lifted CJ5 trying to turn around because he decided it was not a good idea to go down the face. We stopped to watch and offer a hand if needed as it was a precarious spot. He was able to get turned around and then had problems with his front locker and could not get back up the hill. His winch also decided to give out at this opportune moment so I having the closest winch ended up pulling him back up the hill to the road. With that all done we once again headed towards Grumpy’s trail where we had the first carnage of the day. Near the end of the trail Mathew discovered that he had ripped the ears off his left front inner 44 axle. After a bit of discussion it was decided that it would be easier to pull him through the rest of the trail. We removed the front driveline (Russ), unlocked the hubs on the 44, and pointed him up the trail. To his credit he only needed a tug once and was able to finish the rest of the trail on his own. Once out on the road Russ lead him back in the direction of the main road and got him heading home. We did get a call from him later saying that he had made it home OK. While Russ was leading Mathew out the rest of us headed up towards the bottom of the Cable Trail. About 3 rigs made it into the trail when there was a report that Kyle had damaged his front end. Upon closer inspection we found that his Tie Rod was in the shape of a “smiley” and he sure was not going anywhere. In order to get him in some sort of shape for the trip home we wrapped his winch around the axle with the hook on the tie rod, put a couple of vise grips on either side to hold the hook in place, and then a bottle jack from underneath so that it didn’t just rotate when we tried to bend it back with the winch. We were able to bend the tie rod back into a shape that would allow for the drive home and it worked as we got a call from Kyle later in the day that he had made it home safe.
Once Kyle was was heading back out the rest of us continued on up the Cable Trail. Ed got a burr somewhere along the way and decided that he should try squeezing between a couple of stumps. He had to get his front tire up the stump about 4 feet and then let it fall back down but once he did that it was all skinny peddle to get the rear to follow. The only other incident was when Lane decided that a big rock should be dragged down the trail about 15 feet with his rear axle. He was able to successfully move the rock with his axle and then remove his Jeep from the rock with Ed’s Hi-Lift. At this point we were not ready to call it a day yet so we headed for the Wall to take in the view and play in the trees a little. Nothing happened along the way really but it was a good view of the pass with the clouds coming in around the tops of the peaks. We got back to the staging area just as it got dark, aired up, and headed our separate ways. Alas that was not to be for everyone however for when Ed started to air up he discovered that he had some dirt in the bead and when enough air was added it started to leak. After trying to get the dirt and rocks out he decided to just put the spare on and deal with it later. So after that was finished we all really did head towards home.